Recycling metals at home

Most of us are familiar with recycling their empty food and drinks cans, but may be less sure about what, or how, other metal packaging items can be recycled.

  • Don’t forget that all metal packaging can be recycled! So as well as food and drinks cans, items like sweet tins, cake tins, foil trays, aluminium wrapping foil and pet food tins can all be put in your recycling bin.
  • And it’s not just items used in the kitchen that are recyclable! Aerosols used for deodorants, shaving foam and hair spray can also be included alongside your metal food and drink containers.

Recycling aerosols

Please place in your blue bin

  • Ensure that your aerosol is completely used up before you put it in the recycling bin.
  • Do not pierce, crush or flatten aerosols before recycling.
  • Detach any loose or easily removable parts, such as the plastic lid, and dispose of them with the rest of your rubbish. Don't worry about removing the plastic nozzle - this will be removed during the recycling process.

Recycling foil trays and household foil

Please place in your blue bin

  • Clean aluminium foil can also be recycled, such as wrapping foil, take-away trays, pie and quiche cases and oven-ready meal trays.
  • Please wipe or rinse food residue off take away and ready meal trays: There’s no need to run the tap, just a quick swill in the bowl at the end of the washing up is usually sufficient.
  • However, not all products that appear to be aluminium foil are recyclable. For example, some crisp packets can look like aluminium foil, but they are actually made from metallised plastic and cannot be recycled.
  • To check if a foil container is aluminium, put it through a ‘scrunch’ test. Simply scrunch the item in your fist, then release your grip. If the foil has stayed scrunched, then it is aluminium, and can be recycled. If it pops out into its original form, it is not aluminium and should be put in with your rubbish, not in with your recycling.

Recycling non-packaging metal items

  • All steel and aluminium can be recycled but not all can be collected at the kerbside. You can take electrical items, like irons, or bulky items like bicycles and pans, paint cans and nuts and bolts to your household waste and recycling centre. For details of your recycling centres call 0300 123 0900.